Playing For Change | Songs Around The World

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July 28 – Fairhaven, MA

Acushnet Safe Boating Club Marina

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ―Paulo Coelho

We took it easy most of today. Touring and sight seeing every day can wear you out. We spent a slow morning onboard and then ventured out for a short bike ride to check out Fort Phoenix and the hurricane barrier. The park was full of people wandering around looking at their phones. I guess the area was full of Pokémons and these young people where there to catch them. It made me wonder how crowded it would have been before this latest game became popular.
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Still at it

Slowed down a bit due to the heat but still at it, sorta. This morning I drilled the first hole in the 1/4″ stainless channel that’ll make up the skeg. Never had much luck before drilling stainless let alone this size but figured it out.Next was a lil’…

July 25 – New Bedford, MA

Acushnet Safe Boating Club Marina

“To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?” —Walt Whitman

Today we rode our bikes back across the bay to New Bedford to explore the Whaling Museum. We spent most of the morning at the museum, had lunch at Tia Maria, a little European café with a Portuguese influence and then returned to the museum in the afternoon to finish our tour. It’s a very impressive place and well worth a day visit. This evening we enjoyed visiting with the friendly people at the marina. This marina is a private boating club that allows a few transient to dock…everyone has been very friendly and gracious, and they’ve gone out of their way to make us feel welcomed.
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Saint Ignacio, Miss Gay and Captain James T Kirk



The young cadet James T Kirk, a rebellious lad, was put to the test. He was given the Koybayashi Maru, a simulator test with a no win scenario. This test was to examine how a future captain could handle certain failure and inevitable tragedy. For the non Treky’s the ship hears a distress signal in a neutral no go area, entering it will be seen as an act of war bringing unsurmountable retaliation and certain death. Not heading the distress call means certain death for the comrades on the other ship, there is no win. Kirk does not accept failure as the only choice and sneaks into the exam room and alters the program allowing him to save the distressed ship and defeat the enemy.  This episode is one of the most famous and defines Capt. Kirk and his career.

Last night at the San Ignacio Miss Gay Pageant I saw ten Captain Kirks in full spender.  Young people who were given their own Koybayashi Maru’s; life’s no win scenario. Each were born with the wrong identity, a girl’s mind and soul in a boy’s body.  This could make for a life of depression, shame and confusion but they chose not to live that life. The replaced all the negativity with love and beauty, as the young cadet did, they changed their reality and became winners.

Gubat is Donna’s home village, her family is a keen part of this small, very Catholic and conservative tight knit community. Each year they celebrate the Patron Saint, San Ignacio with a week of events and Fiesta, it is a big deal!  One such event is the Miss Gay pageant, the ramrod for this is an reluctantly approaching middle aged spunky Ladyboy, Cherry Pie. When Cherry Pie asked me to be a sponsor and judge for the pageant I jumped at the chance, then realized how serious an honor and responsibility it was. I gotta say I was, to quote Steven Stills at Woodstock, “scared shitless”. I hit the web googling “how to judge a beauty pageant” as I knew how much work went into all this and I had to do a good job.



The pageant started late, hey we were waiting for ladies to get beautiful after all. There were seven judges, I being the only foreigner. The arena was packed, young and old attending. I sat twitching in my table until the first candidate walked on stage, wow!  She was spectacular, she walked by the judge’s tables and gave me a wink. I thought no one could be better, just give her the prize and let’s go home. Then the second, third and so on came up, all gorgeous and any a possible winner. Then I thought, this was not going to be easy!  



The first event was the creative attire, full head dresses and some native influence prevailed. Each girl came to a microphone right in front of me and gave a little talk, all but one in English. Their dialogs were enlightening and refreshing, they were smart and beautiful, and I thought; this is not getting any easier.



The events unfolded, sport attire, evening wear, and when the swim wear portion was half way through, ol’ mother nature provided the special effects, a royal down pour of rain.  People came from every direction to help and moved all seven of us judges, microphones and committee tables onto the dry stage and the show went on. The girls undaunted kept the smiles and sloshed by in those wobbly high heels. The rain stopped and we dried off the judge’s tables and we kept at it.



The ten were reduced to five finalists, and that is when the judges got to ask the questions. I had pondered this part a great deal, what should I ask. I even posted to my facebook friends asking for suggestions.  I got drawn first, asked the candidate to tell me, as a tourist, why should I come to this area and what should I see. Well she must have known my story as she told me I came for the right reason, to find love and she knew I had.  Some of the other judges gave better and more demanding questions about the candidates’ views on the death penalty, gay rights and even what would they ask the President if they could (actually that is one suggestion my facebook friends gave). I was moved as one told of her gratitude for finding a man who loves and accepts her for what she is.  Again all but one gave the answers in perfect English, the one in Tagalog must have been good, Donna who was supposed to translate was laughing too hard to talk. I gave her high marks for wit and audience reaction, had to.

Our score sheets gave three criteria, beauty/brains, 50% Poise, 30% and audience reaction, 10%.  For each division for each candidate. After each division the sheets were tallied. At the end there was a tie for 3rd and 4th so the judges were polled. Although I had a favorite I was not at all sure who had won, it was that close.

Before the main awards, the subsequent awards were given, so every girl got something and that was good. It takes an immense amount of courage to do what these gals do, immense. The top girls are incredible but it is the others I had the most respect for; the kinda pudgy one who walked on stage like a princess or the clearly older one who, although shaking, never gave a hint of giving up, always “on”.  I was glad they each got an award they deserved it.

So with great excitement the prizes were presented, 4th runner up, and so on until only two are standing.  Then 2nd runner up (my favorite) and the winner. As I had sponsored first prize, Donna and I gave the award and I got to crown the new San Igancio Miss Gay for 2016.



I left exhausted, I had focused hard for over four hours, trembling with excitement and humbled and honored to be a part of this event. This is just another of the amazingly enlightening experiences I have had on this great adventure. Another experience one has to set sail to experience and that no amount of money could buy, thanks San Ignacio, thank you to the ten wonderful girls and thanks Gubat for making me feel at home. 



Make Your Dream Your Story

Capt. Brian Calvert

M/Y Furthur

www.furthuradventures.com

Start your own blog now! Free!

July 26 – Mattapoisett, MA

Acushnet Safe Boating Club Marina (Fairhaven)

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” –Paulo Coelho

Today we took the Phoenix Bike Trail and the Mattapoisett Rail Trail over to Mattapoisett. Mattapoisett became best known as a center for shipbuilding and whaling during the 1700 and 1800s. More than 400 ships were built in the town’s shipyards, including the Acushnet, the ship that Moby-Dick author Herman Melville sailed on and later deserted. It’s now a cute little summer vacation spot.
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Charles River

The Charles River forms the border between downtown Boston, and Cambrdige and Charlestown. The famously polluted river was mocked in the Standell’s 1965 hit single “Dirty Water”: “Down by the banks of the river Charles … Well I love that dirty water Oh, Boston, you’re my home.” Swimming was banned in the river in the…

New Plan for Rainy season

Look who we saw on the road

Look who we saw on the road

For the past 5 years I have dodged the rainy seasons which hits all of SE Asia. The first few years we simply went topsey turvey and headed across the equator to Indonesia where the seasons are polar opposites. This kept us in the dry cool climate year around. It did require a couple thousand-mile commute as we racked up a half a dozen equator crossings, becoming serial shellbacks.

Last year we hung out half the season in Davao which is typhoon safe, but full of manmade dangers. The Philippines only offer a few options to avoid the typhoons and storms, one is to be in the safest most protected place in the country, Subic Bay. So this year we decided to hold up in Subic Bay for 5 months, July to December.  This will be the longest Furthur as stayed in one place since we left Seattle.

Subic Bay is the old and now again starting up US Navy base. Closed in 1992 ending hundreds of years of foreign occupation and the subsequent 20,000 jobs it provided, the base is being used again on a limited basis. The government has always maintained the distinction of being “on the base” of “off the base”. The driving rules are much stricter on the base, ok there are actual rules. I have already been stopped for: wrong shoes, must wear closed toe shoes, Donna sitting side saddle in a short dress, and for forgetting to turn my headlight on. The cops are getting to know us hahaha but so far talked them out of all three tickets.

We are staying in the Subic Bay Yacht Club, a once noble establishment that is very run down now but promising to be rebuilt.  We do have a pool and small gym which I enjoy.  There is a modern mall, five screen movie theater, multiple restaurants and shops all within walking distance. There is even a Costco type store with Kirkland brand products priced in dollars. One can bask in the modern world or Just a hop away you go off base and bim bam boom you are back in the Philippines, where the traditional Jeepneys and tricycles zip about and girly bars, street venders and street food is everywhere.

One of the main attractions and deciding points for Subic Bay is the supply of talented capable boat workers. We have befriended one guy who is a top notch electrical genius. He has already unraveled a few long term mysteries and gremlins.  Furthur is in excellent shape and there are no big projects at hand, just a long list of minor ones and a full bow to stern inspection.  My quest for minimizing generator time is now taking us in the direction of a wind gen to add to the solar panels. After sitting at Puerto Galera in good wind for a month I decided to harness some of the cosmic juice.  We are doing a month to month project list to spread the work and expense out, another benefit of five months at the dock.

Modern as it may be we still enjoy Philipino type prices, that movie theater with first run flicks, three bucks a head. Donna thoroughly enjoys the beauty treatments; hair cut/color, all her nails, make up and one-hour massage birthday gift was under forty bucks. There are top notch medical facilities, I am going in next week for a long overdue physical. Get this, they have a menu with pricing, I am getting the full meal deal, chest x-ray, bull blood work-up and exam for sixty bucks, try that at home kids! So Furthur and I will be in fine form. Speaking of form, a few months of lazy cruising, Donna mastering her cooking skills and me not getting any younger, have piled on a few extra pounds around the ol girth.. So my time in Subic will be spent getting back in shape, daily running and gym work outs already tightening things up a bit.. Oh and I am only eating a tiny bit of ice cream each night now, oh the sacrifices hahaha.

Donna on our new bike

Donna on our new bike

So not to be tied down too much we will be taking some land trips. We just got a nice used motorcycle and set it up for some travel. Not the mammoth bikes I am used to, this is a 220cc Kawasaki, a zippy little guy and comfortable. Here one will not exceed 50mph (80 kph) very often.

the Welcome sign

the Welcome sign

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The maiden voyage was last week up to the mountain town of Bugaio. The trip took us thru some horrid traffic to some mangiest mountain roads. Being a spur of the moment trip we had no reservations but pulled up to a tourist tent in the rain and a guy got us a room in a five star hotel for thirty bucks, same hotel Manny Pasqual stays at!  We took a longer yet more scenic road home. I learned fast that one has to cover up when riding in 90f sunshine, I got royally burned hands. Also the exhaust from the murid of smoke belching trucks is lethal. I soon acquired a face mask and gloves.

So the next few months will see a Furthur that is standing tall, a slimmer captain, and provide some great adventures on two wheels. Then we are off to the next boating adventure

Make Your Dream Your Story

Capt. Brian Calvert

M/Y Furthur

www.furthuradventures.com

Start your own blog now! Free!

July 25 – Fairhaven, MA

Acushnet Safe Boating Club Marina

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed that isn’t faced.” –James Baldwin

We’re docked in Fairhaven, which is located across the harbor from New Bedford. This area is rich in history with a port that has changed through the centuries to support a diverse population and make many people very rich.
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Boston Harborfest

Boston Harborfest, the country’s largest July 4th festival, takes place from July 1st through 4th. Much of the activity is centered around the waterfront and included an excellent fireworks display on July 2nd. Since we’d had such a slow day after eleven hours spent touring Boston Light and then walking the Freedom Trail :), we…